10 Most Important Email Marketing Trends That You Can Focus on in 2024 Year

10 Most Important Email Marketing Trends That You Can Focus on in 2024 Year
21 January, 2024 • ... • 43109 views
Ana Balashova
by Ana Balashova

Imagine sending out emails that your audience actually waits for, ones that spark conversations and drive action. This guide is your sneak peek into the strategies that will give your emails a chance to stand out in an overcrowded inbox and drive the desired outcome too.

We’re diving into practical, no-nonsense email marketing trends of 2024 that will keep shaping the future of the industry. From hyper-personalization to interactive content, we’ll show you all the up-and-coming strategies you should know. Let’s dive in.

Why keep up with the trends in email marketing?

In an age where new marketing channels pop up like spring daisies, you might wonder: is email marketing still relevant? The answer is a resounding yes, and here’s why.

First, let’s talk numbers. Did you know that in 2022, around 333 billion emails were sent and received every day worldwide? And it’s not slowing down — that number is projected to rise to 392.5 billion by 2026. This isn’t just about quantity; it’s about a channel that’s deeply embedded in our digital lives.

But it’s more than just habit. Email marketing continues to be a powerhouse for reaching out directly to your audience. According to the HubSpot Sales Trends Report 2024, email marketing ranks as the third-best source of high-quality leads, trailing only behind social media and referrals from existing customers. It’s a direct line to your audience — a way to cut through the noise of crowded social feeds and deliver your message right where it matters. And with the phasing out of third-party cookies, email becomes not only a communication channel but also a valuable source of first-hand information about customers. 

Moreover, email marketing’s versatility is unmatched. Whether you’re a small business owner looking to grow your customer base, a marketer juggling multiple channels, or just starting with email marketing. This channel allows you to craft personalized, targeted messages that resonate with your audience. From promotional offers to newsletters, from customer appreciation emails to user-generated content (UGC), email allows you to connect with your audience in a way that’s both personal and scalable.

After reading all these, you might think: “Why keep up with the trends if email marketing is working as it is?” And while it’s true, embracing new tools, tactics, and insights can refine your approach and improve the results of your marketing efforts. Staying ahead or in line with these trends ensures your emails not only reach your audience but also engage them in ways that matter today and tomorrow.

10 email marketing trends that are shaping its future

Heading into the new year, it’s clear that email marketing isn’t just holding its ground. It’s still a massive source of not-so-cold traffic for any company. Last year’s average open rate of 26.8% and click-through rate of 1.89% clearly indicate that email is alive and well. And the following list will help you keep it that way. 

The trends below aren’t brand new for the most part, but the way they’re being used is changing the game. 2024 is not going to be about chasing the next big thing. It’s about taking what works — like smart use of AI and thoughtful personalization — and making it work even better for you. 

Ready to see what’s topping the charts in email marketing for 2024? Let’s dive into the 10 trends that are set to make the most impact. 

Personalization and segmentation

The top reasons for email unsubscribes, as reported by Gartner, include too many emails, repetitiveness, and misaligned subject lines. These are all symptoms of a lack of proper segmentation. By segmenting your audience, you’re strategically targeting those who will most appreciate your content and engage with it.

Effective segmentation is the foundation for personalization. Segmentation allows you to divide your audience into distinct groups, and with this clarity, you can craft messages that feel like one-on-one conversations rather than generic broadcasts. 

So personalization and segmentation stand out not just as trends but as necessities. Why does this matter? Here’s one number: companies leading the personalization game are seeing up to 40% more revenue from personalization than their less personalizing competitors.

That’s why personalization and segmentation in email marketing are moving from “nice-to-have” to “must-have” this year. Consider another fact: While 71% of consumers now expect personalized interactions, a mere 31% of brands are actually delivering. This gap isn’t just a challenge; it’s a goldmine of opportunity waiting to be tapped.

So, how do you leap into that 31% and reap the benefits?

Here are some ideas: first, tailor your messages and promotions by audience segment. This isn’t about blasting your entire list with the same offer. It’s about crafting messages that resonate uniquely with different segments, whether they’re long-time customers or new subscribers.

Next up, recommend products or content that align with each segment’s interests and behaviors. This goes beyond the generic “customers also bought” approach. It’s about showing you understand their needs and have just what they’re looking for.

Personalized Netflix recommendation email showcasing a selection of movies and TV shows based on the recipient's viewing history
Netflix’s customer's tailored recommendations email

Triggered emails based on visitor behavior can be a game-changer. Imagine sending a personalized offer just when a customer abandons their cart or browses a specific product category. It’s timely, relevant, and often, just the nudge they need to complete a purchase. Check out another article for email segmentation ideas and examples.

And don’t overlook recommending products or content to individuals. With advanced tools at your disposal, you can delve into the world of hyper-personalization, where every email feels like it was crafted just for the person reading it.

In a nutshell, personalization and segmentation are about making each of your subscribers feel special and understood. And to make every subscriber feel like your email is speaking directly to them. Deep dive for some great personalized email examples

Automation

Automation email example from AppSumo
AppSumo sends automatic emails to all users browsing products listed on the website

In a world where time is money, automation is a necessity. The global marketing automation software market, valued at $4.93 billion in 2022, is proof of its growing importance. Experts project this market to soar to $11.25 billion by 2031, signaling a shift towards more strategic, automated marketing practices.

But what’s driving this surge? It’s the undeniable impact automation has on business efficiency and results. Consider this: 64% of US marketing professionals have identified automation as a top trend in their email marketing plans. This shows that automation is not just a futuristic concept but a present-day priority for marketers looking to stay ahead of the curve. And it really works too. 

Take, for instance, a case study by Zapier, where a small business witnessed its conversion rate jump from 2.45% to 4.55% after implementing email automation. This is a great case demonstrating how automation can significantly improve business metrics.

So, what’s next in email automation? Here’s where you can expect to see more of it:

  • Predictive analytics: With the integration of machine learning algorithms, predictive analytics are reshaping how marketers target audiences, creating campaigns that are more personalized and effective than ever. For example, imagine an online retailer can use predictive analytics to analyze past purchase behaviors and seasonal trends. Then it’s possible to forecast which products will likely be popular in the upcoming month and tailor email campaigns accordingly. This approach increases the relevance of each email and the likelihood of conversion by offering what the customer is most likely to need or want at just the right time.
  • Advanced segmentation: The days of one-size-fits-all email marketing campaigns are long gone. Sophisticated tools now enable marketers to segment subscribers based on diverse criteria, ensuring each email is as relevant as it is engaging with dynamic email content.
  • Sophisticated automation workflows: These aren’t just automated emails; they’re strategic campaigns designed to resonate at every stage of the customer journey. From welcoming new subscribers to re-engaging old ones, automation ensures your brand stays connected at all times.
  • Email template builders: Automation also extends to design. Template builders streamline the creation process, ensuring your emails look great without hours spent on design. Going forward, there will be even more email providers offering an even larger number of tailored customizable email layouts just for you.
  • Automated list scrubbing: Keep your lists clean and your engagement high with automation tools that regularly clean and update your subscriber lists.
  • Automated transactional emails: These crucial communications, from purchase confirmations to shipping updates, are handled seamlessly, enhancing customer experience without added workload.
  • Onboarding and lead nurturing: Automate your onboarding with a series of drip emails, and keep leads warm with automated nurturing campaigns, all tailored to guide your prospects through the sales funnel effectively, and more.

As you refine your email marketing strategy for the upcoming year, consider how automation can transform your campaigns and try to implement it. 

Artificial Intelligence

Sarbacane creates the templates gallery based on Selzy’s website with the website URL, brand logo, and accent color shown in the Style guide section on the right.
Sarbacane offers AI email templates created in minutes based on a brand’s website
Sarbacane generated templates titled Wishes 2024, New Year’s Eve, Carnival, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Blue Monday. All email templates use Selzy’s logo and main color.
6 email templates generated by Sarbacane based on Selzy’s website

The impact of AI in email marketing is already evident. According to Selzy’s benchmarks, 87.7% of users trust AI-generated emails, and 58.3% believe AI can improve email newsletters. The most intriguing AI feature? Automatic content and image generation are favored by 39.7% of users, while 33.9% prioritize personalized content and newsletters. This shows a clear shift towards relying on AI for crafting compelling email campaigns.

AI is changing the game for email marketers by offering advanced personalization, where every email feels tailored to the individual reader. Unlike standard segmentation tactics, AI can analyze vast amounts of each user’s data — from browsing history to past purchase patterns — to predict future behavior and preferences. The power of AI lies in its ability to learn from each interaction, continuously refining the personalization of content so that each email sent feels increasingly relevant and timely to the individual reader. The result? Emails that are not just opened but engaged with.

Moreover, 50.7% of users find AI more effective than traditional non-AI approaches. This effectiveness is evident in how AI can optimize subject lines, design email templates, and even suggest the best times to send emails for maximum engagement. By 2025, 30% of outbound marketing messages from large organizations will be synthetically generated, up from less than 2% in 2022, indicating a significant shift towards AI-generated content.

However, it’s important to find the right balance. While AI offers incredible advantages, over-reliance on generative AI content can be hurting your marketing. Forrester predicts that thinly customized generative AI content will negatively impact 70% of B2B buyers. Therefore, the key is to use AI as a tool to enhance, not replace, the human touch in your email campaigns. 

If you’re new to using AI in email marketing, you can check more Selzy guides on the subject. We recommend starting with the basics to understand AI in email marketing. And once you are ready to apply AI in practice, you can check out the piece on using ChatGPT in email campaigns for actionable prompts and strategies.  

Privacy protection

An email from font designer Radomir Tinkov informing subscribers that they need to resubscribe via a button below to keep receiving the newsletter
In compliance with GDPR, this email newsletter’s author added the Privacy Policy, Terms & Conditions, and Cookies Policy to the website and asks previously subscribed readers to confirm their subscription — resubscribe. Source: Really Good Emails

With regulations like GDPR and the CCPA setting the tone, the stakes for compliance are higher than ever. For instance, GDPR violations can lead to fines of up to €20 million (about $22 million) or 4 percent of a company’s annual revenue. Similarly, under the CCPA, businesses face fines ranging from $2,500 to $7,500.

This heightened focus on privacy isn’t just about avoiding penalties; it’s about building trust. With 74% of consumers valuing their data privacy highly, transparent and respectful data practices are becoming a brand’s key differentiator. As the U.S. gears up for the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA), mirroring the EU’s GDPR, businesses must understand how these regulations impact consumer privacy and email marketing strategies.

The shift towards privacy-focused marketing is already significantly influencing strategies. According to HubSpot’s State of Marketing 2023 report, 86% of marketers report that data privacy changes have impacted their marketing strategies over the past year. With third-party cookies becoming a thing of the past, 85% of marketers acknowledge their reliance on them and admit the need for a change.

So, how can email marketers adapt to this privacy-centric landscape? Get to know your audience through direct channels like email marketing. Utilize surveys and track engagement with your email content to gather insights. This data is very important for building effective segmentation strategies and can be used across multiple marketing channels. At the same time, it’s the data customers willingly share with you, so it doesn’t harm their privacy.

Video and strong visuals

Why are videos and visuals becoming so crucial in email marketing? It’s simple: they capture attention in ways text alone can’t. In an inbox flooded with words, a video or a vibrant visual stands out, offering a more dynamic and engaging experience. 

HubSpot’s State of Marketing 2023 report emphasizes this trend, highlighting video as the most popular media format for the fourth consecutive year. More than just popular, videos are highly effective, with 25% of respondents citing them as having the highest ROI.

Adding interactive elements like GIFs, image carousels, and videos not only makes emails more engaging but also encourages subscribers to spend more time with your content.

These graphics should be strategically placed to break up text and highlight key messages or offers. On top of it, you can experiment with different types of visuals, like infographics or animated illustrations, to convey information in a more engaging and helpful way so that your readers can understand and remember your message. 

An email promoting a memory metal glass frames collection with a big GIF of a hand squeezing the frames
Source: Really Good Emails

Accessibility

While 77% of brands recognize the importance of making their emails more accessible, only 8% consistently adhere to best practices for email accessibility. Yet with at least 2.2 billion people globally having a near or distance vision impairment, creating emails that are accessible to everyone can be your chance to make a huge difference in your campaign performance. 

So, how can we bridge this gap? Start with a concise copy. Use shorter sentences and avoid jargon to make your emails easily understandable. When it comes to design, think about easy skimming. Create a clear hierarchy with text size, color, and placement. If your copy is more than two lines long, left align it for easier reading. Ensure your fonts are legible, with a minimum size of 14px, and maintain high contrast for better visibility. Here is an excerpt from an email optimized for accessibility with clear formatting and concise copy:

Concise writing, text size, and clear hierarchy make a good example of an email newsletter optimized for better accessibility.
Source: Really Good Emails

Screen-reader-friendly email code is a must. Move away from all-image emails and use real text instead. When using tables, include accessible role attributes. Semantic HTML is crucial for identifying elements like headers, paragraphs, and buttons. And don’t forget about alt text for images — it’s essential for conveying the visual elements to those using screen readers.

Overall, this 2024 trend is about being mindful of the diverse needs of your audience and taking concrete steps to address them. 

Gamification

Gamification in email marketing is like a cheat code for boosting customer engagement and revenue. Gamified marketing campaigns can be incredibly effective. For instance, Kop & Kande garnered 15,000 new email subscribers and saw a 17.85% revenue increase using daily Christmas Calendar emails. 

Language learning app Duolingo is quite successful with gamified emails that include mini-quizzes and progress reports. These are not only keeping users engaged but also encouraging regular app usage.  

Fitness bracelet Fitbit chose to give this strategy a try as well. This user’s annual fitness achievements newsletter turns a year’s worth of sweat and steps into a fun shareworthy recap, making every user’s fitness journey feel like an epic adventure. 

Fitbit email showcasing gamification in email marketing with personalized user statistics
Source: Really Good Emails

Make a fun game or an intriguing personality quiz as part of your 2024 email strategy, and watch as people share it on social networks. Such shares can increase your brand visibility and grow your contact list. Because when your emails are so cool they go viral, people will want to join in on the fun.

Dark mode

Recognized as the biggest increase in impact by Oracle, dark mode is not just about aesthetics; it’s about user experience and preference. As of August 2022, about 34% of email opens were in dark mode, marking a 6% increase from the previous year.

Why is dark mode gaining such traction? It’s ideal for low-light settings, allowing users to check emails in bed or a dark room without being intrusive. It is believed to reduce ‘blue light’ emission, which is known to disrupt sleep patterns. For those concerned about energy consumption, dark mode can also help conserve battery life on mobile devices. Importantly, it’s a boon for people with light sensitivity or visual impairments, making emails more accessible.

In email design, embracing dark mode involves understanding how it affects the appearance of your emails. While the technicalities of rendering emails in no-change, inverted color, or custom dark mode are important, the overarching trend for 2024 and beyond is the increased focus on adaptable and responsive email design. This includes creating email content that looks good and remains functional across all viewing modes. In line with the emerging email design trends, it’s anticipated that dark mode will continue to gain traction. 

However, designing for dark mode isn’t without challenges. Image-only emails, for example, might not be dark mode friendly, as fixed background colors can create a jarring contrast with the dark interface. This calls for careful consideration in choosing colors and images that blend seamlessly in both light and dark modes.

Exploding topics newsletter in both light and dark modes side by side

Prioritizing mobile

With mobile traffic holding the largest market share in November 2023, at a staggering 63.64%, it’s clear where the majority of your audience is engaging with content. The shift to mobile is even more pronounced in the shopping habits of younger generations. According to the Pew Research Center, about 91% of Americans aged 18 to 49 use smartphones for online shopping. This data highlights the importance of optimizing email marketing for mobile devices. Heading into 2024, this trend underscores the urgency for email campaigns to be mobile-friendly, ensuring maximum reach and engagement in an increasingly mobile-centric world.

So, how can you ensure your emails are mobile-friendly? Here are some key strategies:

  • Concise copy: Being brief in your email copywriting for mobile is key. Keep your texts crisp and compelling. Opt for bullet points over long paragraphs. Remember, on mobile devices, you have just 25-30 characters to make an impact with your subject line.
  • Mobile-friendly design: Not all phones load images by default, so design with a no-image scenario in mind. Ensure your message comes across clearly, even without visuals.
  • CTA placement and size: Position your CTAs in the middle of the screen for easy access. Since fingers are less precise than mouse pointers, make sure your CTAs are sized appropriately for easy tapping.
  • Spacing and navigation: Space out links and buttons to avoid clusters. This makes it easier for your readers to tap the correct link without frustration.

By focusing on concise copy, mobile-friendly design, and easy navigation, you can ensure that your emails are seen and interacted with, no matter where your audience is or what device they’re using. Selzy’s intuitive email template builder has various designs optimized for mobile. Try Selzy for free and make effective email campaigns faster.

Desktop and mobile versions of the same Shrimps promotional email side-by-side
Source: MailCharts

Expanding the email capabilities

With technological advancements, emails are no longer just about delivering a message. They are now enabling interactions right where the audience is — in their inbox. You can now create polls, gather opinions, and conduct surveys directly through email. This not only increases engagement but also provides valuable insights into your audience’s preferences and behaviors.

An email with a Typeform poll integrated into its body
Source: Really Good Emails

Unlocking and expanding on these capabilities became possible with integrations. Email providers constantly expand their ecosystems, enabling seamless connections with hundreds of apps and services. For instance, Selzy offers integrations with platforms like Webflow, WordPress, Airtable, Pabbly, ZenDesk, and Google Sheets. These integrations are game-changers, especially for e-commerce businesses, as they enable real-time tracking of customer engagement and behavior directly through email campaigns. And it feels like the number of those will keep growing.  

Looking ahead into 2024 and beyond, we can expect this trend to continue and even accelerate. The integration capabilities will likely expand, offering more sophisticated tools and features.

Tips on implementing current email marketing trends into your strategy

Here are some simple and easy-to-follow tips to get you started once you decide to give new trends a try and incorporate them into your email marketing:

  1. Start with strategy: Before diving into trends, define your email marketing strategy. Understand your audience, set clear goals, and determine how each trend can align with your objectives.
  2. Test and learn: Implement trends with an experimental mindset. Use A/B testing for different elements like subject lines, email design, or call-to-actions (CTAs) to see what resonates best with your audience.
  3. Keep up with compliance: Stay updated on privacy laws and regulations. Ensure your email marketing practices comply with GDPR, CCPA, and other relevant regulations to build trust and maintain credibility.
  4. Use data to drive decisions: Leverage data analytics to guide your email marketing strategy. Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns.
  5. Evaluate and iterate: Regularly review your email marketing performance and optimize it. Be open to making changes and iterating on your strategy based on feedback and results.

By applying these general tips, you can effectively incorporate any email marketing trend into your strategy. But don’t forget an important rule of thumb: the effectiveness of your email marketing strategy depends on how well you understand and adapt to your audience’s needs.

Final thoughts

Let’s focus on the actionable takeaways of this article. The key is not just in adopting these trends but in smartly integrating them to create an impactful email marketing plan.

  • Personalization is key: Tailor your content to resonate with each audience segment. It’s about understanding and addressing their unique needs and preferences in every email.
  • Automation for efficiency: Embrace automation to streamline processes, from personalized welcome emails to timely follow-ups, enhancing both efficiency and effectiveness.
  • AI as a tool,  not a replacement: Utilize AI for optimizing subject lines and content, but remember, the human touch in crafting messages is irreplaceable.
  • Following privacy standards: In an era where data privacy is paramount, ensure your practices are transparent and compliant, building trust with your audience.
  • Creating engaging content with visuals: Incorporate videos and interactive elements to make your emails more engaging and memorable.
  • Accessibility for all: Design your emails to be accessible to everyone, ensuring inclusivity and expanding your reach.
  • Gamification for engagement: Introduce elements of gamification to transform your emails from informative to interactive and fun.
  • Ready for dark mode: Adapt your email designs to look great in both light and dark modes, catering to user preferences.
  • Mobile-first approach: With mobile dominating digital interactions, optimize your emails for a seamless mobile experience.
  • Leveraging integrations: Utilize integrations to connect your email marketing with other tools, creating a synergized marketing ecosystem.

In implementing these trends, remember that the essence of successful email marketing lies in creating genuine connections with your audience. It’s all about delivering value, nurturing relationships, and adapting to up-and-coming changes. 

21 January, 2024
Article by
Ana Balashova
I'm a seasoned PR and marketing pro turned tech writer, with a decade of experience working with big names like DuPont, Avon, Evernote, TradingView, and SAP. I've also dived into the world of crypto startups, contributing to several blockchain publications. Now, I'm bringing my passion for technology, entrepreneurship, and marketing to Selzy. Here, I combine my love for writing and excitement about contributing to the growth of a great product.
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